IMCA and paid relevant person's representative roles in the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Appendix A: Template letter to assessors to set out contact with IMCAs or paid representatives
This letter could be sent to each assessor immediately an IMCA or paid representative is alerted to the need to represent a person in assessments. This includes:
- 39A, 39C, or 39D IMCAs for assessments undertaken a part of a request for a standard authorisation
- 39C or 39D IMCAs for assessments undertaken as part of a review.
It is designed so that it can be sent before the IMCA starts their work of supporting and representing the person. This is to ensure that the assessors are alerted as early as possible to the involvement of an IMCA. It can also help make sure that assessments are not completed without the IMCA having an opportunity to provide input.
This letter could be sent by an administrator when the initial IMCA instruction arrives.
Paid representatives involved in reviews or requests for further standard authorisations may also wish to use such a letter to identify how they wish to be involved in assessments.
Template letter Open
To the assessor
This is to advise you in your role of assessor that (name of organisation) has been instructed to act as a 39A / 39C / 39D* IMCA for (name of client).
* delete as appropriate.
They also have the following advocacy roles in relation to this client (e.g. SMT IMCA/ adult protection IMCA / non statutory advocacy role
The IMCA undertaking the role(s) is
They will support and represent the person during the assessments process. The aim of this letter is to make the IMCAs expectations clear at the outset, so that the assessments are completed efficiently and in compliance with the duties imposed on both assessors and IMCAs under the MCA.
You are required to take account of this letter under schedule A1, Section 132.
If for any assessment you would like to make different arrangements, please contact the IMCA at the earliest opportunity so that these can be discussed and alternatives agreed.
If the either the assessor or the IMCA wishes to change the times agreed for the IMCA to make representation before the assessment is concluded, this should be done by mutual agreement.
If you are meeting the person or other contacts please consider involving the IMCA in these meetings to reduce the burden of the assessment process on those consulted.
Please share at the earliest opportunity information which may be important to the IMCAs role. The IMCA will similarly undertake to share with the assessor any significant information or views.
Please alert the IMCA as soon as possible if an individual assessment is negative.
You are requested to tell the IMCA if it has not been possible to verify with certainty that the person is over 18. In that case the IMCA may wish to make representations before the assessment is completed. Otherwise the IMCA will not make representations for this assessment.
No refusals assessment
If part of the purpose of the DOL is for the person to receive treatment, the IMCA may want to make representations. Otherwise the IMCA will not make representations for this assessment.
Where treatment is involved please liaise with the IMCA to set a date when representations will need to be made by. This should allow adequate time for both the IMCA and assessor to establish if there are any valid advance decisions to refuse treatment.
If an advance decision to refuse treatment is identified the IMCA may wish to make representations if there are questions about its validity or applicability.
Mental capacity assessment
The IMCA may want to make representations for this assessment. Please liaise with the IMCA to agree when representations will need to be made by. This will need to be after both the assessor and the IMCA have had the opportunity to meet the person and to speak to each other about this.
If the IMCA has any concerns about the assessment of capacity you will be told at the earliest opportunity. The IMCA may put significant concerns in writing before the agreed time.
Mental health assessment
The IMCA will not make representations with regard to this assessment.
Please tell the IMCA at the same time as the best interests assessor how the person’s mental health may be affected by being deprived of their liberty. The IMCA may wish to discuss this with the assessor to inform their representations for the best interests assessment.
The IMCA may make representations if the managing authority is a hospital. If this is not the case the IMCA will not make any representations for this assessment.
If the managing authority is a hospital please liaise with the IMCA to agree when representations will need to be made by.
Best interests assessment
The IMCA will want to submit an IMCA assessment report. This should be considered by the assessor before completing their assessment. Please liaise with the IMCA about when this report must be submitted.
If an authorisation is to be granted and the supervisory body is considering changing the conditions proposed in the best interests assessment, please tell the IMCA that this is the case and make sure that they have the opportunity to make representations.